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Same experience here with the actual plastic going brittle after only one season, fidgetbones.  They really need to make them from UV-proof plastic.  UPVC as used to make windows would be ideal but google isn't coming up with anything.  I'm sure someone could make a lot of money by selling slightly more expensive but longer lasting ones - a 5 year life would be fine.  There are plenty of expensive ones (some £5 each!) but no middle ground it seems.

 Silver Surfer
I'm with fidgetbones and have used Brother labelling tapes for years on a not-to-cheap plastic label. They just peel off when I want to change them. I do label my garden because with a memory like mine, I forget where I've put things, mainly bulbs.
Also just to let you know - the mole is back!!! We've been mole-free for a few weeks now but yesterday noticed more molehills in our new front lawn. I think it's time for traps now don't you???

I'm with Bilje and use the cheap (Tesco's Value) brillo pads, soaked in a little warm water.

I actually cut the Tesco brillo pads into 3 strips with scissors and each strip does at least 2 dozen labels before running out of 'soap'. I then chuck them into the kitchen sink, containing water, to rinse.

Can anyone recommend a really good fine pointed marker that can be used to label? I like to put some detail on some of my labels, like height of the plant, and I run out of label space with the marker pens.


Lancashire - have you tried Sharpies?

Clarington wrote (see)

Lancashire - have you tried Sharpies?

I have heard of them but never tried them. I'll give them a go, thanks


Just bought 3 black fine point waterproof sharpies off eBay for £2.50 with free postage.

Thanks Clarington!

Jim Macd

I thought I'd commented on this thread. How sad that I remember it. I tried putting them in the washer tied in a sock yesterday. What a waste of time, didn't even get them clean then my partner pointed out they are 2p each why are you wasting your time? Because I don't have any left! Anyway. For what it's worth Turpentine gets pencil off, but I'm too lazy to get the ladder out and get in the loft. That's proper turpentine not white spirits. Scrubbing them with a scourer is way to hard work for 2p. I've ordered a load of new ones but until they come I think I'll have to get in the loft for the turpentine out of my art box. 

John Harding

Just buy a pen/pencil eraser from a stationery store-the type that has red & blue ends. The red is for ordinary pencil, blue is a coarser texture for ink.

gardenning granny

never heard of sharpies before - must give them a try - thanks Clarington and LL.

I picked a load of labels up from tesco end of season bin - 10p for 50 - but being a war baby I shall be having another scrubbing day when the pile of dirty labels grow too big!


I get people to save these for me, even though they are free, I still clean and re use.


I use nail varnish remover to wipe clean my labels once dry i use a permanent marker easy.


I use both sides by which time plastic fatigue has set in and they snap. I slosh them around in a bowl of soapy water before the second use. Mine have a long time in the pots, it's shrubs and perennials I'm growing.

Jim Macd
Edd wrote (see)

It might be because i'm So tight i only got double glazing fitted so the little one couldn't hear the ice cream van and you will only extract a 20p coin from my hand with a spanner because i designed them that shape.  .


The Cif worked really well, I can't believe I didn't try that before. Much better than getting out the ladders. I'll still have to buy some more though, I did some potting up and now don't have anymore left. By the way, I found UV resistant ones while searching on Sunday. I bought black and a white permanent marker for apple grafts. 

Edd wrote (see)

Lyn, do people actually think this is food???

Lyn wrote (see)

I get people to save these for me, even though they are free, I still clean and re use.


They will be going to McDonald's next as they also think they sell food. 



Nothin to do with me what other people eat.

For Plant Nurseries and Gardening Clubs the World Over,

To clean your potted plants LABELS of the black marking pen just get some CAR "CREAM CUT AND POLISH HEAVY DUTY".

Just rub it on and rub it off. 

Den Rivers, Down Under


Has anyone tried toothpaste?     


i write on mine with pencil & the to clean it off i use a bit of spit and what ever t-shirt i am wearing in the garden  i know i know but it's quick hahaha

   It's slightly abrasive and cleans silver, just though it might be useful for labels. 



I use a pencil too but I use the 'magic eraser' sponges with a bit of water and it only takes a second.  Edd knows what they're made of - I can't remember.


Thank you Edd